Why Settle for Second Best?

Our society says you can be anyone you decide to be.

Don’t like your gender?
“Change it.” 

Don’t like the opposite sex?
“Go with whatever you prefer,” our world says.

But…

For those of us who believe in God, we can’t leave God out of the equation.  We are bound by our faith to see what God says about it.  If you follow in obedience as He directs in His word, The Holy Bible, you are a faithful Christian.  If you’re not a woman of faith, maybe this post will demonstrate the perspective of an authentic Christian’s faith beliefs.

Picture this scenario:  Someone sees you struggling with a lifestyle choice, and then they see you give in obedience to the Lord, they don’t understand.  They sometimes turn to you and accuse.

“You’re settling!”  They  claim.

It’s as if they’re saying you’ve settled for second best.  They believe that being true to ourselves is always choosing what we want  for ourselves.  Like pleasing ourselves alone should be top priority.

Do they really believe that the very best for your life is what you choose over what God would choose for you?

Let’s look a little deeper.  Christians know that God has His best in store for His children.

And we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called
according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

God created us.  He knows intimately everything  about us, warts and all.  Rather than caving to cultural acceptance of who we want to be, let’s cave to God’s best for us.

Let’s take addiction, for example.  The pull of addiction is strong and serious.  I get that.  It’s not to be taken lightly.  But, I know without a doubt that God will heal us of addiction when we turn to Him for healing.

Jeremiah 17.14Image Source

It’s a long process, sometimes a life-long one.  It takes commitment.  And the Lord will see us through it.  With love and commitment to the Lord in our affliction, He will turn it around.  To His faithful children, He gives a life filled with His blessings.  When we honor Him in our decisions, He blesses that – with more good things than we can imagine.

Later, sometimes much later, we look back and say “Wow.”

I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on God’s best,
for it truly has been better than I could have ever dreamed.

Our decisions matter.  For women of faith, we need not settle for second best, which is the “worldly” best.  God designs our days perfectly for His faithful ones, those who love Him and honor Him in obedience to His Word.

Choose the very best – God’s best for your life.

In your lifetime, how has God shown His best to be better than you’d ever imagined?  When you run across someone who’s making a crucial life decision, do you think you could share that with them – to help them realize God’s ultimate best?

Blessings~

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The Art of Getting Bored

Do you sometimes wish you had nothing to do…to the point of actually getting bored?

We live hurriedly most of the time.  We rush here, rush there, rush everywhere.  Then we rush home to get some sleep so we can get up and rush again the next day.

That’s not life at all!  That looks more like a treadmill.

Last week, I discovered there is an art to getting bored.  How did I do it?  I prayed that morning to find myself bored at some point that day.  I longed for it.  Looked for it.  Expected it.

Why are we so afraid of empty spaces in our schedules?  That’s where creativity happens.  Rest.  Restoration. Rejuvenation.

It includes reading quietly, taking a stroll (not a walk), sitting without a noisy electronic box of some sort, or sitting outside and listening for nothing in particular.  Birds sing, winds blow, nature around us happens.  If we don’t stop and wait quietly, it passes us by.   Soul restoration happens there.

Later that afternoon, I suddenly found myself bored…for an entire five minutes.  Yikes!  Is that all?  Yes, but it was an answer to prayer, and I was so thankful for it.  I relished in that old familiar feeling I hated as a child.

When we’re bored, our brains escape all thoughts of things that need to be done.  We escape the mental torment of the never-ending to-do list for a while.  Suddenly, we can dream again.  We realize our place, our purpose, the point of it all.

We can find rest and enjoyment in boredom.

So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work.  Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.  For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?  (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)

I’m not adding to scripture here, but Solomon was speaking from his heart.  Personally, I would add rest to the list – to enjoy food and drink and rest.  Rest after our work.  Rest in satisfaction of it.  Rest in the Lord.

The Sabbath is our day of rest – and quite possibly of boredom.  We should be thankful and relish it.

Do you often get bored?  What does it take for you to feel it and enjoy it?

Blessings~

 

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When You Hear the Word LOVE, Who Comes to Mind?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have a different sort of tablescape post for you this week.  Our church hosts a meal and a little entertainment for our JOY (Just Older Youth) group at church each month.  It gives the older crowd a reason to gather with their friends for food, fellowship, and fun.

At last week’s gathering, I snapped a few pictures before the guests arrived.

The entertainment for the evening was Patricia Neely-Dorsey, who read her poetry to the group after enjoying a special meal.  I took no pictures of her and/or the group (sorry).  I was on kitchen duty and only caught the last bit of her poetry readings.

Miss Margaret is the tireless woman behind the JOY gifts of love each month.  I have no picture of her, either, but she wouldn’t want that anyway.  She directs our kindergarten/preschool program for the community at our church.  Everyone loves Miss Margaret…because she loves THEM (us).

You should see the kids run to hug her at any and all events!  After her full days of managing the kindergarten program, once each month, Miss Margaret plans, prepares, and serves nearly a hundred JOY guests.  Her table settings are always done with love and beauty, keeping with the theme of the season.

This time, place mats are laminated copies of an image depicting Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s poem Meet My Mississippi.  That’s very fitting for this group, many of whom have lived in Mississippi their entire lives, working to improve our town and state along the way.

Miss Margaret made a large image of the poem to hang on the wall to accompany the Valentine decorations.  Beyond that, Miss Margaret cooks the food!

I won’t give away her age, but Miss Margaret continues to serve this JOYful group each month when she should be sitting with them herself and being served!

But, she would never allow that.  This night is her gift of love to them.  In love for her Savior, Jesus, she serves.  And loves.  And gives.

She is love, just as Jesus is Love.

Who came to mind when you read the title of this post?  Miss Margaret comes to my mind.  Every time.

She always loves and encourages others – no matter what’s happening in her own life.  Just over a year ago, she lost her husband to cancer (shortly after her mother’s passing).  Miss Margaret knows they aren’t gone…just in a new location…heaven.  Through her hard journey, Miss Margaret never stopped hosting JOY nights.  She needed to grieve, but there would be time for that later, she said.  Always putting others first.  That’s what she does.  That’s what we’re supposed to do.  (I admit to being too selfish sometimes.)

She is inspiration for us all!

Blessings~

PS:  I’m sharing this post at Tablescape Thursday.

PSS:  I’ll be on Facebook Live at some point tomorrow.  Join me if you can – to see how to add vintage tin paintable wall paper to an old dresser.  If you miss it Live, you can always see the replay.  Update:  See the post with Facebook Live video here.

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